The Progression of 5G Network Connectivity


The fifth generation of wireless technology is here—although it’s not quite here. The top four major carriers in the U.S. have cities with some sort of 5G capabilities. While Verizon, T-mobile, and Sprint are currently offering 5G to consumers, AT&T is only offering the service to businesses and institutions. However, by 2025 half of the U.S. population will have access to 5G network connectivity.

Samantha Murphy Kelly, Tech Editor at CNN Business, recently tested the speed of 5G on all four providers. “When it worked, it really worked, often hitting over 1 gigabit per second in speed tests—an incredible feat for a piece of technology that fits in your pocket,” Kelly states when describing her experience with Verizon’s network. The high speed, allowing her to download the most recent Spiderman film in 5 seconds on AT&T’s network, is a promising sign that 5G will change the way people live and operate by giving access to real-time data.

Setbacks in 5G Development

As mentioned in a previous post, 5G is facing setbacks in the UK due to disputes between landlords, local authorities, and mobile network operators (MNOs) over access to street furniture for transmitter installation.

The U.S. also faces issues with the rollout, which could take six to eight years in order to catch up to 4G’s footprint. Because its faster speed utilizes radio waves that cannot penetrate walls and buildings, expanding 5G means increasing access points. Smaller transmitters, such as the type located on street furniture, would be needed to help maintain signal strength.

The Future of 5G

While there may be a slower rollout period for the technology as upgrades are made to existing 4G towers and new access points are built to create a stable connection, 5G continues to show promise in transforming connectivity for individuals and businesses.

What will the world look like in a few years? 5G will allow for advancements in smart cars, cities, and homes as more devices will be able to better communicate with each another. Cars will be able to communicate with a larger network, traffic updates will occur in real-time, the use of Augmented and Virtual Reality will increase, and much more. By moving tremendous amounts of data between devices within seconds, 5G network connectivity will enable real-time management while providing significant increases in computing power.

“Small cameras will be embedded in everything, from your clothes to your doorbell to your car, distributed and connected,” says Light Company CEO, Dave Grannan. “Data from these cameras will be combined to create incredible high-resolution 3D images, enabled by the speed and latency of 5G networks.”

What’s Available Now

To access 5G, you need to have a 5G-enabled device. Do you know which devices are currently on the market that offer access to 5G? The list below shows which smartphones are compatible with 5G.

  • Samsung Note 10 Plus 5G and Galaxy S10 5G
  • LG V50 ThinQ 5G
  • Lenovo Motorola Moto Z3 and Z4
  • OnePlus 7 Pro
  • Xiaomi Mi Mix 3
  • Oppo Reno 5G


Preparing Your Organization for 5G

As 5G continues to advance, many organizations are getting ahead of the curve by investing heavily in this telecommunications technology. Is your organization ready? Consider training your team with 5G Networks, a course program from IEEE and Nokia, which will be released later this year.

Connect with an IEEE Content Specialist today to learn more about the program.


Murphy Kelly, Samantha. (9 August 2019). I tried 5G. It will change your life— if you can find it. CNN.

La, Lynn. (13 August 2019). 5G phones you can get now: Galaxy S10 5G, OnePlus 7 Pro 5G, Moto Z4 and more. CNET.

Belsie, Laurent. (12 August 2019). Wireless revolution: What 5G is, and how it will affect you. The Christian Science Monitor.

Oswald, Ed. (14 August 2019). It’s 2025. How has 5G changed our lives? We asked experts to predict the future. Digital Trends.

Reardon, Marguerite. (8 August 2019). FCC deems cellphones with 5G tech safe. CNET.

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